The desktop Intel Arc GPUs we really want might not show until Q2

Intel Alchemist GPU renders on a blue gradient background
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel's upcoming lineup of both mobile and discrete GPUs, code-named Alchemist, may not fully arrive within its original Q1 launch window. That release window within the January and March period has always been a little uncertain, but recent information from a leaker, and our current understanding of the situation, suggests most PC gamers will be waiting a little longer to get their hands on the Intel graphics cards they really want.

The information comes from multiple sources speaking to YouTube leaker Moore's Law Is Dead, and suggests the actual high-end discrete cards have been effectively pushed back until Q2. Some say April, others say June. Though it's looking like a major release marketing push will occur during a large gaming convention at that time, potentially PAX East in late April, though June would be just in time for E3.

Before that, the low-end Alchemist mobile chips would be available. These could be end of March, perhaps a paper launch, with more availability through April and beyond.

That actually aligns with our current educated expectations around the Arc release date: some sort of launch, likely laptop-based, by the end of March, followed by the more impressive discrete cards and high-end chips later on.

When later exactly, we don't know. That's partially because it's all tightly under-wraps, but also because there's a chance Intel is still playing with the exact dates of each product behind the scenes. 

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From what we've heard and from the aforementioned leaks, it sounds like something will happen quite soon, and that Intel is sticking to something resembling its plan for its 2022 release. Though that was already pushed back from 2021, of course.

Intel announced it was already shipping Arc Alchemist GPUs to major OEMs back at the beginning of January, at CES 2022. So they're out there, and this prep time will be key to the user experience come launch.

No doubt Intel will want to deliver something worthy of the wait when it does hit that launch date, too. This is an entirely new product category for the original x86 CPU company, and there will be plenty of moving parts required to align to get it launching smoothly. 

Moore's Law Is Dead suggest drivers may be the delaying factor here, rather that hardware supply. They also expect Intel to launch with a high volume, which would be good news for PC gamers in a GPU rut today.

Intel is using TSMC to produce these graphics chips, and the contract foundry is in high demand. That said, Intel isn't some small-time business looking for an in, it's a major silicon manufacturer in itself, and has a lot of money to throw around when need be. So perhaps there's a good chance Intel can make a dent in the GPU market.

Intel seems to think so anyways, as Raja Koduri and Pat Gelsinger recently responded to us with promising talk of significant supply.

We can only hope that's true, as the current dire market situation, and AMD and Nvidia's most recent budget GPUs, don't leave me with a whole lot of hope for the rest of 2022. Intel may be our best shot at some meaningful change in PC gaming, and importantly PC gaming on a budget. 

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.